"Elias! Where are you?!"
"Right here!" He proudly exclaims with a large grin across his face and two pairs of scissors, one in each hand, being simultaneously opened and closed in his little grasp!
The scissors got taken away. However, the next morning, there was a period of quietness.
I went to search for the boy...
oh, I found him alright.
He was crouched in the corner of the entry way with the same two pairs of scissors and one of his sister's necklaces. He was strategically cutting her necklace into small pieces that he figured he could reconstruct into a weapon of some sort later I'm sure.
That afternoon, Elias was yelling for me from the bathroom,
"Mommy! Come wipe my booty!!"
I followed him into his bedroom to tuck him in for a nap and as I lifted up his covers, I saw my small tin of xylitol candies. The tin says to only eat 1-2 pieces a day since it can cause diarrhea. Low and behold, 1/3 of my container was missing. Like a movie, just on cue, my son says,
"Oh mama. My tummy doesn't feel so good."
... wonder why son... wonder why...
Funny how that was my first thought...
Anyways, I stumble into the kitchen and there is popcorn all. over. the. floor.
As I approached the kitchen I ask,
"Elias? Are you still picking up?"
"Yes mom!" He convincingly replies.
I enter the kitchen and see my son with a large tub of homemade granola (his favorite breakfast food - so much so "granola" was one of his first words, pronounced "ko-wa-wa) between his legs and his hand digging into it and stuffing his face with the cereal! Popcorn still EVERYWHERE and NOW granola EVERYWHERE...
This is just a 12-hour documentation of what goes on in a day.
Do you have one of these kids?
So far, I have one... but I am thinking my newest boy is going to be similar to his older brother.
I was one of these children.
I was going to do what I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted, despite the cost.
(1) He needs specific tasks: My son needs chores, he needs a set toy with boundaries in order to exist without flushing matchbox cars down the toilet... again... He needs a blanket on the floor with a box of marbles and marble tracks and a good 30-minute timer that will ding when he can move onto his next task
(2) He needs intensive training: We usually start preschool around 18 months - 2 years old, but for my son, we waited until this year - 3 years old. He needed some serious character training before he could even sit down and receive any sort of instruction from me. He needed to learn to finish a chore in a timely manner and thoroughly. He needs to learn to think before he does something. He needs to know that what mom/dad says, MOM/DAD MEANS! He needs to be able to sit still, occupy himself with a given task, understand that "no" means "no", and follow directions.
(3) Encouragement: He needs to be encouraged to channel those God-given qualities into an activity that will produce something instead of destruct something. Maybe give this child their own tool set and wood so they can build, hammer, paint and contract. Maybe give them a small engine they can pull apart. Maybe a remote control car that they can drive around a specific room of the house. Maybe a marble track they can build and run marbles through.
(4) Twice as Much Love as Disciple: This is easy to forget and hard to apply when it feels like all you do is discipline this child. This is the child that is the first to be handed over to your husband when he steps foot
These qualities are GOOD!
This child is just in need of instruction.
I tell myself:
"You would rather a child that you have to tell to slow down, then a child you have to tell, 'Get up and do SOMETHING!'"
So maybe lock up the scissors for a time (we all know a top shelf isn't sufficient enough for this child... maybe a gun safe?), don't you dare sweep up that popcorn, and add vitamin E oil to your toiletry list again this month...
But remember, God made this child this way for a reason. Ask Him how to parent them :)